Kurt A. Kappes

Kurt A. Kappes

Shareholder

Kurt A. Kappes is Managing Shareholder of the Sacramento Office. He is also the National Co-Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Complex Employment Litigation & Trials group. He has extensive lead trial experience in many complex litigation cases, including: class actions, commercial claims, trade secrets and employee mobility, computer fraud, non-competes, unfair competition, and Business and Professions Code Section 17200 actions. Kurt has also represented clients in labor and employment matters, including advisory matters, trade secret audits, contracts, discrimination claims, whistleblower cases, and wrongful termination litigation.

Recognized for several years by Super Lawyers magazine as one of Northern California Super Lawyers, Kurt has argued cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, and the Third District Court of Appeals. He has also represented a client before the United States Supreme Court. Kurt has handled numerous administrative hearings, arbitrations (single and panel), injunctions, writ proceedings, jury trials, bench trials, and appeals.

Kurt has also served an Adjunct Professor, Visiting Professor, and Lecturer in law at the University of California, Davis School of Law, where he taught various topics, including a course on trade secrets and employee mobility from 2010-2019. He is a frequent speaker and writer in the trade secret area, and peer reviews firm publications and podcasts in this area.

Concentrations

  • Trade secrets/unfair competition/employee mobility 
  • Commercial litigation
  • Labor and employment
  • Business torts
  • Contract disputes
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Capabilities

Experience

  • Allen v. Jelly Belly. Defended Jelly Belly in purported class action alleging that confections containing evaporated cane juice mislead consumers.  
  • Anthony O. Corso Living Trust et al. v. KCG Americas LLC, et al.: Defended E*TRADE and G1X in alleged violations of 1933 Securities Act action.
  • Baker v. E*TRADE: Defended E*TRADE in purported class action alleging violations of various lending laws and consumer statutes.
  • Burger v. Enerco Group and Lowes HIW, Inc.: Purported class action alleging B&PC 17200 and CLRA violations relating to the sale of certain portable heaters.
  • Cielinski v. Werner: Purported class action on behalf of thousands for breach of contract for changing pay of various driver-trainers.
  • Cortez v. McClatchy Newspapers, Inc. et al.: Purported class action alleging improper automatic renewal of newspaper subscriptions by multiple newspaper publishers. Alleged violations of Automatic Renewal Law, Unfair Competition Act and Consumer Legal Remedies Act.    
  • Debra Roy v. Heald College: Represented Heald College in a class action case related to alleged tuition overcharges.
  • Doe v. National Retailer: Represented national retailer in purported class action alleging improper refunds.
  • Greenspan v. IAC: Defended IAC/InterActive Corp in Antitrust/Unfair Competition class action.
  • Kennedy v. Baxter Healthcare Corporation: Published at 50 Cal.Rptr.2d 736. Received dismissal with prejudice of product liability class action allegations against the client, Baxter Healthcare Corporation.
  • Lynn v. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association: Received dismissal with prejudice of class action allegations against the client, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association.
  • Marriott Ownership Resorts, Inc. et al. Flynn: Represented Marriott in appeal of District Court judgment in class action, regarding who determines arbitrability of claims.
  • Ramsey v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, et al.: Represented Lincoln National Life Insurance Company and their agents in class action defense regarding alleged contractual and tort claims arising from alleged misrepresentations and concealments in connection with the sale and marketing of the life insurance policies and a dividend reduction scheme.
  • Reyes v. Bank of America, et al.: Represented the client in a class action case involving violation of TILA, which was later dismissed.
  • Wells v. CSRA: Represented the client in a class action case against charter school alleging Business & Professionals Code Section 17200, et seq. violations and false claims.
  • ABF, et al v. California: Acted as lead counsel for several carriers in administrative and judicial effort to recover several million dollars in trailer refund fees for 26 different carriers.
  • Color Media v. Eastman Kodak Company: Represented Kodak in a commercial dispute involving breach of contract, implied warranty, fraud and Business & Professionals Code Section 17200, et seq., and causes of action concerning the sale of state-of-the-art color imaging software and hardware.
  • Doe v. ABC Corp.: Represented the client in a case alleging Business & Professionals Code Section 17200, et seq. violations and constructive termination related to alleged loan fraud.
  • eCommerce Industries, Inc. v. MWA Intelligence, Inc.: Represented software spin-off, Tech AnyWare, LLC, in Delaware Chancery action, alleging various tort claims arising from spin-off.
  • Farmers Rice v. Quaker Oats: Defended Quaker Oats in alleged breach of contract to purchase 4,000 tons of rice.
  • Fong & Fong v. Eastman Kodak Company: Represented Kodak in a commercial dispute involving alleged breach of contract, implied warranty, fraud and Business & Professionals Code Section 17200, et seq. and causes of action concerning the sale of state-of-the-art color imaging software and hardware. Case went to trial resulting in a favorable outcome for the client.
  • International Business Systems Cheeseworks: Represented software developer in contract dispute with importer/distributor.
  • Kellogg v. ADM: Represented ADM in a case alleging defective seeds.
  • La-Z-Boy Masashi-Noriko, Inc.: Represented the licensor in connection with the dispute over licensing agreements.
  • Manning v. E*TRADE: Represented E*TRADE in a multi-party case involving alleged naked short selling.
  • MWA Intelligence v. Tech AnyWare: Multi-jurisdictional action involving alleged breach of restrictive covenant and tortious interference with software licensing contract, and seeking several millions in lost sales, with trial in Delaware Chancery Court.
  • Reego v. La-Z-Boy: Represented the licensor in connection with the dispute over licensing agreements.
  • Reiser v. Marriott: Represented defendants in action brought by 38 plaintiffs alleging conversion of certain units of a condominium located in Truckee, CA into private condominiums caused their ownership interests to decline in value and become unmarketable.  Claims for Recission, Breach of Contract, Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, UCL, Aiding and Abetting.
  • Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London: Represented the client in a coverage action arising out of $35 million in claims.
  • Salvesen v. La-Z-Boy, Inc. et al: Plaintiff sought to allow Salvesen to remain in business and prevent La-Z-Boy from terminating Retail License Agreements between the parties for operation of four Southern California furniture galleries. Alleged breach of contract, violation of franchise laws, and related claims.
  • Schneider DMV: Represented Schneider in an action against the Department of Motor Vehicles to enforce compliance with the International Registration Plan under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.
  • Stewart v. Unum: Represented the client in a case alleging Business and Professionals Code Section 17200, et seq. violations against disability insurer relating to management of disability claims.
  • Teacher’s Retirement Bd. v. Genest: Represented the California Retired Teachers Association (CRTR) in an action to restore $500 million in pension benefits to the retired teacher's trust fund.
  • UFCW v. WinCo: Represented the client in a case involving Business & Professionals Code Sections 17200 and 17500 action against the grocery store chain, alleging the sale of adulterated food to consumers. The case was dismissed with prejudice.
  • Witeby v NFP: Represent NFP in arbitration involving departing insurance broker and thousands of policies.
  • Xiong v. Lincoln National: Represented the client against bad faith and breach of contract claims. Received a unanimous defense jury verdict in federal court.
  • ADP v. Bakshi. Represent employee in restrictive covenant/non-compete litigation who left ADP to join Workday.
  • Alcoa Doe: Advised Alcoa on trade secret issue relating to former employee.
  • 3M Company and 3M Innovative Properties Company ACS Industries, Inc. (U.S. District Court of Minnesota): Represented 3M in action for misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and tortious interference against a competitor.
  • 3M ABC: Counseled 3M on trade secrets/restrictive covenant issues.
  • Bradford Technologies, Inc. v. NCV Software.com, Rodney Newman, Metro National Financial, LLC and Karma Technologies LLC: Defended clients in case alleging misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • California Natural Foods v. Living Harvest: Defended Living Harvest against a case involving alleged misappropriation of trade secret formula in violation of NDA.
  • ECI Software Solutions v Sheridan, et al.: Complaint against former employees and independent contractors for trade secret misappropriation under DTSA, 18 U.S.C. 1836, and related claims.
  • IGT XYZ Corp.: Investigated possible trade secret theft.
  • Institute of Technology DiGiacomo: Defended the client against a case involving alleged misappropriation of student list.
  • Mathnasium Center Licensing, LLC Math Concept (H.K.) Limited, High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Court of First Instance (expert witness).
  • Megdal Associates, LLC and Dewert Antriebs-Und Systemtechnik, GmbH & Co. KG v. La-Z-Boy, Inc.: Represented La-Z-Boy et al. in defending action brought by plaintiffs for alleged willful infringement of patent rights, failure to pay royalties and misappropriation of trade secret information.
  • Micron ABC Corp.: Investigated possible trade secret theft.
  • Micron Does: Represented Micron in connection with ex-employees violating confidential information and nonsolicitation agreements.
  • Micron Doe: Investigated possible trade secret theft.
  • NFP Retirement, Inc. v Kyle Posvistak et al: Represented plaintiff company in seeking injunctive relief against departing employees taking confidential customer information.
  • Nicole Wilson; Rosetta Stone LTD v. Open English LLC: Represented Open English in a multi-jurisdiction trade secret case (Florida and California) including a California declaratory relief claim under a non-compete agreement.
  • Oracle v. Cision. Represent Cision in connection with Oracle's claims relating to alleged trade secrets.
  • PSC Does: Represented PSC in connection with possible employee raiding and trade secret claims.
  • Prudential Hansen: One of multiple trade secret and restrictive covenant cases on behalf of the insurer in Utah, Oregon and California to enforce trade secrets/restrictive covenants.
  • Pyro Spectaculars, Inc.; Pyro Spectaculars North, Inc.; and Pyro Events, Inc. Steven Souza: Assisted client in filing action for trade secret misappropriation and obtained preliminary injunction.
  • Rewards Network Acacia, et al.: Assisted client in obtaining injunctive relief against use of trade secrets.
  • Roadrunner Intermodal Services LLC T.G.S. Transportation Inc. Represented Roadrunner Intermodal Services in claims involving tortious interference with non-compete, and ex-employees taking confidential customer information and inducing customers to use defendant’s services.
  • Sara Lee Albrecht: Represented Sara Lee in connection with ex-employees violating confidential information and nonsolicitation agreements in Nevada and New Mexico.
  • Selling Source Does: Investigated potential trade secret theft.
  • Stephanie Allen; Rosetta Stone LTD v. Open English LLC: Represented Open English in a multi-jurisdiction trade secret case (Florida and California) including a California declaratory relief claim under a non-compete agreement.
  • Storage Kraft Kirby: Represented client in a multi-jurisdictional trade secret action involving software brought to enforce third party discovery.
  • Veeco DEF Corp.: Investigated possible trade secret theft
  • Veeco ABC Corp.: Investigated possible trade secret theft.
  • Vitek v. Countrywide: Defended Countrywide against alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and employee raiding.
  • VPS Le: Represented plaintiff in pursuing trade secret and related claims in a case involving proprietary formulations for extending shelf life for produce products.
  • Washington Mutual v. Countrywide: Defended Countrywide against alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and employee raiding.
  • WeRide Corp. et al v. Wang, Huang, Zhong Zhi Xing Technology Co. Ltd, Allride, AI Inc, ND Cal. Defend corporate defendants in case alleging misappropriation of trade secrets relating to self-driving car technology.
  • World Financial Group v. HBW: Represented WFG in alleged violation of the UTSA. Case was profiled in Employment Law 360; April 22, 2009.
  • Beebout v. Sunsweet: Defended the client from claims of disability discrimination and wrongful termination.
  • Bravo v. Countrywide: Defended the client on a wrongful termination case brought by a former employee.
  • Burkhardt v. Countrywide: Represented the client in a case involving alleged whistleblower claim. The case involved a 2 week, 20 witness JAMS arbitration, which ended in favorable terms for the client.
  • Calderon v. HDR, Inc.: Defended the client from claims of sexual harassment and national origin discrimination.
  • Caroline Sanders v. eCommerce Industries, Inc.: Wrongful termination case, alleging pregnancy discrimination.
  • Clark v. HDR: Defended client in a case alleging racial discrimination.
  • Coria v. G. Boswell: Resolved a class action case for vacation pay brought under California law.
  • Doe v. Countrywide: Represented Countrywide in SOX proceeding and subsequent arbitration.
  • Findlay v. Countrywide: Represented Countrywide in a wrongful termination case brought by a former employee.
  • Fineman v. Sunsweet: Represented the client in a case involving an alleged whistleblower claim by the former CEO.
  • Fish v. Doe Corp.: Defended the client from whistleblower claims brought by former employee.
  • Galindo v. SacBee: Assisted in class action alleging that carriers should be classified as employees rather than independent contractors.
  • Gauna v. Countrywide: Represented the client in a wrongful termination case brought by a former employee.
  • Junkin v. Countrywide: Represented the client in a wrongful termination case brought by a former employee.
  • Lazo v. Heald College: Represented the client in a wrongful termination case alleging retaliation for an employee complaining of alleged sexual harassment.
  • Lustgarten v. HDR: Defended client in wrongful termination case brought by plaintiff.
  • Moles v. Cargill: Defended client in wrongful termination case brought by former employee.
  • Montalvo v. Werner: Defended client in wage and hour class action.
  • Morgan v. Cargill: Defended client in wrongful termination case brought by former employee.
  • Murphy v. JB Hunt: Defended the client from claims of disability discrimination.
  • Neubauer v. Countrywide: Defended the company on alleged wrongful termination claims brought by a former employee.
  • Padilla v. PGP: Defended client on a DFEH charge relating to failure to accommodate.
  • Ramsey v. HDR, Inc.: Defended the client against claims of wrongful termination, pregnancy discrimination and taking family medical leave.
  • Remy v. HDR: Defended the client in a case involving sexual harassment and hostile environment claims.
  • Sanders v. eCommerce Industries, Inc.: Defended complaint for alleged disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, wrongful termination and unlawful retaliation.
  • Sharifi v. Schneider National Carriers, Inc.: Defended Schneider in a wrongful termination case, alleging physical disability discrimination and tortuous termination in violation of public policy.
  • Solis v. VSP: Defended the client in an alleged wrongful termination case brought by a former employee.
  • Sunsweet Teamsters: Represented the client at multiple arbitrations.
  • Ward v. PayPal Incorporated: Assist PayPal in defending ADA claims.
  • Weller v. HealthNow New York, Inc.Defend client in wrongful termination case alleging sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation.
  • Wilson v. Sunsweet: Represented the client in a federal case alleging disability discrimination in violation of FMLA, CFRA, FEHA and wrongful discharge of public policy.
  • Wong v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.: Obtained complete defense award in arbitration involving claims for race discrimination, false promise and breach of contract.
  • H. Belo Corporation v. Southern Methodist University: 734 S.W.2d 720 (1987)
  • Agnew v. E*TRADE: Opinion, 2011 WL 4017931(E.D. Pa, September 9, 2011)
  • American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Medical Board: 162 Cal.App.4th 534 (2008)
  • Flynn v. Paul Revere: Argument in the 9th Circuit, 2001, 2 Fed. Appx. 88 (2001)
  • Greg Manning v. Merrill Lynch et al. (US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Case No. 13-3693). Interlocutory appeal of denial of remand of securities class action. (2014)
  • Kennedy v. Baxter: Opinion, 43 Cal.App.4th 799 (1996)
  • Lynda Butler v. Winco Foods, LLC (US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Case No. 13-55862). Appeal from judgment dismissing ADA claims as moot. (2013)
  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. et al. Manning, 136 S. Ct. 1562, 578 U.S. ____, 194 L. Ed. 2d 671 (2016)
  • Teachers Retirement Board Genest: 154 Cal.App.4th 1012 (2007)
  • Wierzba v. E*TRADE: Brief in the 9th Circuit, 2010, 10-16032 (2012)
  • Wells v. One2One Foundation: Argument and opinion in the California Supreme Court, 39 Cal.4th 1164 (2006)
  • Wells v. One2One Foundation: Argument and opinion in the 3rd District Court of Appeal, 39 Cal.4th 1164 (2006)
  • Agnew v. E*TRADE: 2011 WL 4017931 (E.D. Pa, September 9, 2011)
  • H. Belo Corporation v. Southern Methodist University: 734 S.W.2d 720 (1987)
  • Allstate Life Dall: 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 100401 (E.D. Cal., October 28, 2009)
  • American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Inc. Medical Board of California: 162 Cal.App.4th 534 (2008)
  • Animal Blood Bank, Inc., v. Hale: 2012 WL 2160960 (E.D. Cal, June 13, 2012)
  • Animal Blood Bank, Inc., v. Hale: 2012 WL 5868004 (E.D. Cal, November 19, 2012)
  • Bottero v. Hoya Corporation: 2015 WL 3809266 (N.D Cal, June, 18, 2015)
  • Cervantes v. Metropolitan Life: 338 F Supp. 2d 1164 (2005)
  • Cook v. Geco, Inc.: 2016 WL 3809266 (E.D. Cal, August 29, 2016)
  • Covenant Transport State: 2009 WL 2054701 (Cal.App.3rd, July 16, 2009)
  • Davis v. Culinary Academy: 2008 WL 4196587 (Cal. App.1st, September 15, 2008)
  • DiVincent v. DiVincent: 2013 WL 6234619 (N.D Cal, December 2, 2013)
  • Dumas v. Saxon Mortg. Services, Inc.: 2012 WL 1801694 (E.D. Cal, May 16, 2012)
  • eCommerce Industries, Inc. MWA Intelligence, Inc.: 2013 WL 5621678 (Court of Chancery of Delaware, October 4, 2013)
  • Flynn v. Paul Revere: 2001 WL 80408 (9th Cir., Jan 30, 2001)
  • Funcat Leisure Craft, Inc. V. Johnson Outdoors Inc.: 2007 WL 704928 (E.D. Cal., March 6, 2007)
  • Funcat Leisure Craft Inc. v. Johnson Outdoors Inc.: 2007 WL 273949 (E.D. Cal., January 29, 2007)
  • Genesis Specialty Tile & Accessories, LLC v. Amerus Life Ins. Co. of Iowa: 2012 WL 1197613 (E.D. Cal, April 10, 2012)
  • Gordon v. La-Z-Boy: 2007 WL 1101456 (E.D. Cal., April 12, 2007)
  • In re Biozoom Inc. Securities Litigation (E*TRADE): 93 F.Supp.3d 801(N.D. OH, 2015)
  • Lawrence v. Caplan (E*TRADE): 2011 WL 176894 (N.D. Cal., January 19, 2011)
  • Kelley v. Crate & Barrel, Inc.: 2008 WL 2233568 (E.D. Cal., May 28, 2008)
  • Kelley v. Crate & Barrel, Inc.: 2008 WL 223718 (E.D. Cal., January 28, 2008)
  • Kennedy v. Baxter Healthcare Corporation: 43 Cal.App.4th 799 (1996)
  • Manning v. E*TRADE: 2013 WL 1164838 (D.N.J.) (2013)
  • Manning v. Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith Inc.: 772 F.3d 158 (2014) cert granted, --  U.S. – (2015)
  • Manteca Trailer v. Roadtrek: 2009 WL 54577 (E.D. Cal., January 8, 2009)
  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. Manning:136 S. Ct. 1562, 578 U.S. ____, 194 L. Ed. 2d 671 (2016)
  • Moses v. Innoprise Software: 2013 WL 3927660 (N.D. Cal, July 26, 2013)
  • Moses v. Innoprise Software: 2013 WL 6019536 (N.D. Cal, November 13, 2013)
  • Moses v. Innoprise Software: 2014 WL 691587 (N.D. Cal, February 21, 2014)
  • Pyro Spectaculars North, Inc. Steven Souza: 861 F. Supp.2d 1079 (E.D. Cal. 2012)
  • Remy v. HDR Engineering: 2005 WL 1925902 (E.D. Cal., August 8, 2005)
  • Sanguigni v. E*TRADE Securities: 2015 WL 1959559 (D. Az April 29, 2015)
  • Teachers Retirement Board Genest: 154 Cal.App.4th 1012 (2007)
  • Wells v. One2One Learning Foundation: 39 Cal.4th 1161 (2006)
  • Williams v. Bank of America: 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 71176 (E.D. Cal., September 29, 2006)
  • Williams v. Bank of America: 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 33989 (E.D. Cal., May 26, 2006)
  • Wilson v. Sunsweet Growers: 2007 WL 2418736 (E.D. Cal., August 24, 2007)
  • Xiong v. Lincoln National Life Ins. Co.: 2009 WL 154928 (E.D. Cal., August 8, 2009)
  • Zurich American Ins. Co. Trans Cal Associates: 2011 WL 6329959 (E.D. Cal, December 16, 2011)

Some of the above representations were handled by Mr. Kappes prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Adjunct Professor, University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law, 2010-2019
    • Trade Secrets and Employee Mobility

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, "Top Lawyer," Sacramento magazine
    • Employment & Labor
    • Litigation - Commercial
    • Trade Secrets
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Northern California Super Lawyers
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Trade Secrets
  • Selected, Sacramento Business Journal, "Best of the Bar"
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Employment Practice Group of the Year"
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Appellate Practice Group of the Year"
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Banking & Finance - Litigation
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
    • Member, Trial Law Institute
    • Member, Diversity Law Institute
  • Member, American Bar Association

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., Northwestern University, Pritzker School of Law, 1986
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Butler University, 1983
Admissions
  • California
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California